Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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The make of pseudo science

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1 The make of pseudo science on Thu May 07, 2015 8:19 am

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The make of pseudo science 1

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1993-the-make-of-pseudo-science

When certain biologists discuss the early stages of life there is a tendency to think too vaguely. They see a biological wonder before them and they tell a story about how it might have come to be. They may even draw a picture to explain what they mean. Indeed, the story seems plausible enough, until you zoom in to look at the details. I don't mean to demean the intelligence of these biologists. It's just that it appears they haven't considered things as completely as they should. Like a cartoon drawing, the basic idea is portrayed, but there is nothing but blank space where the profound detail of biological processes should be.

http://iose-gen.blogspot.com.br/2010/06/introduction-and-summary.html#methnat

The US National Science Teachers Association [[NSTA] as of July 2000, and over the signature of its Board of Directors, is even more explicit in making the same question-begging imposition of naturalism through its radical redefinition of the nature of science for educational purposes:

The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . .

[[S]cience, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products . . . .

Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000. Emphases added.]

By strongest contrast with such attempted dismissals by the NAS and NSTA etc, the design inference (a major focus for their ire) is actually a legitimate inductive argument made based on a well supported empirical observation. For we routinely observe that intelligent agents act into our world, and when they do so they often leave characteristic signs of art-ificial -- or, intelligent -- action; such as functionally specified, complex information.

Pseudo science refers to claims, beliefs, or practices appear scientific even though they lack sufficient supporting evidence and plausibility (Kida, 2006). Pseudoscience claims are not scientific because they lack the necessary characteristics that make science a valid and reliable source of knowledge. Pseudoscience lacks a systematic process for progression and correction and uses invalid and unreliable methods to produce evidence for its claims. 

The goal of pseudoscience is to convince people to believe claims and use that belief to direct behavior. Claims are based on fatalistic thinking, intuition, faulty logic, and incomplete or invalid research (Stanovich, 2010).  
Pseudoscientific claims are controversial because they  take advantage of ignorant people. This implies that many believe they can trust science to produce truth, but lack the critical thinking skills to recognize it. Most people trust scientists, ranking them in the top three contributors to the well-being of society and only surpassed by teachers and members of the military (Pew Research Center, 2009). If a claim seems scientific, or is presented by a scientist, then people are more likely to believe it. People and groups use the scientific image for personal advancement at the expense of the scientists they falsely represent, and the people duped into believing their claims. When the claims are revealed as false, the scientific community’s image is discredited. 

Pseudoscientific claims are often in opposition to fact. Claims draw attention when they are radical and all encompassing. People cannot make an informed decision when they are presented with false information. Decisions made on false information can have severe consequences.

Pseudo science refers to claims, beliefs, or practices appear scientific even though they lack sufficient supporting evidence and plausibility (Kida, 2006). Pseudoscience claims are not scientific because they lack the necessary characteristics that make science a valid and reliable source of knowledge. Pseudoscience lacks a systematic process for progression and correction and uses invalid and unreliable methods to produce evidence for its claims. 

The goal of pseudoscience is to convince people to believe claims and use that belief to direct behavior. Claims are based on fatalistic thinking, intuition, faulty logic, and incomplete or invalid research (Stanovich, 2010).  
Pseudoscientific claims are controversial because they  take advantage of ignorant people. This implies that many believe they can trust science to produce truth, but lack the critical thinking skills to recognize it. Most people trust scientists, ranking them in the top three contributors to the well-being of society and only surpassed by teachers and members of the military (Pew Research Center, 2009). If a claim seems scientific, or is presented by a scientist, then people are more likely to believe it. People and groups use the scientific image for personal advancement at the expense of the scientists they falsely represent, and the people duped into believing their claims. When the claims are revealed as false, the scientific community’s image is discredited. 

Pseudoscientific claims are often in opposition to fact. Claims draw attention when they are radical and all encompassing. People cannot make an informed decision when they are presented with false information. Decisions made on false information can have severe consequences.

Professor of evolution calls Darwinism 'pseudo science'

One of the greatest European zoologists, Pièrre-Paul Grassé held the Chair of Evolution at the Sorbonne University, Paris, for decades. He openly admitted that he did not know how particles-to-people evolution could have happened, and attacked Darwinian ideas as naïve. In his 1973 book he wrote:

‘Through use and abuse of hidden postulates, of bold, often ill-founded extrapolations, a pseudoscience has been created. … Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinist theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories. … Assuming that the Darwinian hypothesis is correct, they interpret fossil data according to it; it is only logical that [the data] should confirm it; the premises imply the conclusions. … The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs.’

Pièrre-Paul Grassé, L’évolution du Vivant, 1973, published in English translation as The Evolution of Living Organisms, pp. 7–8, 1977. Quoted by P. Johnson in J. Buell and V. Hearn (ed.), Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?, Foundation for Thought and Ethics, Richardson, TX, USA, p. 7, 1994.

1) http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/04/the_white_space095311.html



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2 Is evolution pseudoscience? on Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:32 pm

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Is evolution pseudoscience?

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1993-the-make-of-pseudo-science#4924

The Skeptic’s Dictionary contains an entry on ‘pseudoscience’ that includes ten characteristic fallacies of pseudoscientific theories.1 The list’s compiler clearly did not have evolution in mind, as the very first group the article identifies as pseudoscientific is ‘creationists’. Ironically, evolution has almost every characteristic on this list. Let’s look at how evolution exhibits the fallacies listed by these self-proclaimed skeptics, with just one example of each.

Some pseudoscientific theories are based upon an authoritative text rather than observation or empirical investigation.

In almost every debate about origins, the first argument given by the evolutionists is an appeal to authority. The National Academy of Sciences flatly asserts, ‘While the mechanisms of evolution are still under investigation, scientists universally accept that the cosmos, our planet, and life evolved and continue to evolve.’2 [our emphasis]

We are supposed to respect these scientists because science has proven so powerful. But the people who preach evolution didn’t discover gravity or pasteurization or semiconductors. They just call themselves by the same name, ‘scientist’.

Some pseudoscientific theories explain what non-believers cannot even observe.

The web site of the US Department of Energy admits that no one has observed evolution happen in nature or the laboratory, but explains, ‘As for the fact that we haven’t made evolving life in the laboratory yet, I think that you’re expecting too much of your species. Let’s say, as a first guess, that it took blind Nature a billion years to make evolving life on earth. … How much faster do you want us to go? Even if you give us an advantage of a factor of a MILLION in speed, it would still take us a thousand years to catch up … ’.3

So it is totally unrealistic to expect to actually observe evolution, even under artificially accelerated conditions.

Richard Dawkins, Professor of Zoology, Oxford University, said, ‘Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it has not been observed while it’s happening.’4

Some can’t be tested because they are consistent with every imaginable state of affairs in the empirical world.

The next is essentially the same:

… [or] are so vague and malleable that anything relevant can be shoehorned to fit the theory.

Evolutionists are always ready with a story to explain any observed trait of a species. Why do some birds, like peacocks and birds of paradise, have beautiful and elaborate tails? Evolutionists explain, ‘If a peacock can … find food and evade predators while dragging around a bigger and more conspicuous tail than his rivals do’ this demonstrates that he is particularly strong and capable, and thus makes a better mate. So evolution selects females that prefer males with the most elaborate tails.5

But the same article also says, ‘it’s hard to figure what possible advantage these eye-catching but burdensome appendages offer … in the grim business of survival.’ If peacocks had small, streamlined tails, evolutionist would surely be explaining that an efficient tail gives an advantage in the struggle for survival (in escaping from predators, for example).

Evolution is just as good at ‘predicting’ things that never happened as it is at predicting things that actually did happen. A theory that can explain anything, predicts nothing and proves nothing.

Some theories have been empirically tested and rather than being confirmed they seem either to have been falsified or to require numerous ad hoc hypotheses to sustain them.

Evolutionists are forced to admit that the fossil evidence for their theory is slim to non-existent. For example, almost all major groups of creatures appear in the fossil record with no evolutionary past. ‘Something quite bizarre happened at the end of the Precambrian Era. Rocks from that time show evidence of an astounding variety of multicelled and hard-shelled life forms that seemingly appeared all at once. Scientists have long pondered the causes of this sudden appearance of new life forms, known as the Cambrian explosion.’6

So the evolutionists offer ad hoc hypotheses to explain the lack of evidence. One popular theory is ‘punctuated equilibrium’, which says that sometimes evolution happens so fast that there are too few ‘intermediate’ generations for any to have much chance of being fossilized.

We cannot see evolution happening today because it goes so slowly, and we cannot see evidence of it in the past because it happened too quickly!

Some pseudoscientific theories rely on ancient myths and legends …

Okay, one that doesn’t particularly describe evolution, although evolutionary notions can be traced back to ancient pagan Greek philosophers such as Empedocles (c. 490–430 BC).7

Some pseudoscientific theories are supported mainly by selective use of anecdotes, intuition, and examples of confirming instances.

Evolutionists try to find animals that fit into their ‘evolutionary tree’. In the classic ‘horse story’, they arrange a group of animals with similar body shapes in order by size and say it shows the evolution of the horse. But is this actual ancestry or just a contrived arrangement? Except for the supposed ‘first horse’, which it probably isn’t, far from being an example of evolution, the fossils show the wide variation within a created kind. As the biologist Heribert-Nilsson said, ‘The family tree of the horse is beautiful and continuous only in the textbooks’.8

Most of the creatures that would have had to exist if evolution were true have never been found, and some creatures have been found that don’t fit in the evolutionary tree at all, like the platypus. But evolutionists seize on a few creatures that sort of look like they might be halfway between a badger and a horse, or between a reptile and a bird. These rare apparent fits ‘prove’ evolution as much as occasional good guesses by a psychic ‘prove’ that he can read your mind.

Some pseudoscientific theories confuse metaphysical claims with empirical claims.

Some evolutionists insist that evolution has no metaphysical implications. ‘Evolution does not have moral consequences, and does not make cosmic purpose impossible.’9

But others make dogmatic metaphysical applications. The American Academy for the Advancement of Science website includes a whole section on ‘Science, Ethics, and Religion’, with statements like, ‘Evolution is the creation myth of our age. By telling us our origins it shapes our views of what we are. … In calling it a myth I am not saying that it is a false story. I mean that it has great symbolic power, which is independent of its truth. Is the word religion appropriate to it? This depends on the sense in which we understand that very elastic word. I have chosen it deliberately.’10

Richard Dawkins said that ‘Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist’.11

Some pseudoscientific theories … contradict known scientific laws and use ad hoc hypotheses to explain their belief.

A pro-evolution web site states, ‘Until the 19th century, it was commonly believed that life frequently arose from non-life under certain circumstances, a process known as “spontaneous generation”. This belief was due to the common observation that maggots or mould appeared to arise spontaneously when organic matter was left exposed. It was later discovered that under all these circumstances commonly observed, life only arises from life. … No life has ever been observed to arise from dead matter.’12

But evolutionists dismiss the fact that their theory requires the violation of this well-established law of science. ‘Did [Pasteur] prove that no life can ever come from non-living things? No, he didn’t, and this is because you cannot disprove something like that experimentally … ’.13

The fact that all the experimental evidence of the past 200 years contradicts their theory is irrelevant, because they speculate that it’s possible that there is some experiment that no one has yet tried where it might work.

Pseudoscientists claim to base their theories on empirical evidence, and they may even use some scientific methods, though often their understanding of a controlled experiment is inadequate.

Evolutionists claim that their theory is science, but the National Center for Science Education, which is an anti-creationist lobbying group, admits that there’s a problem: ‘The failure of many students to understand and accept the fact of evolution is often a consequence of the naïve views they hold of the nature of science … . According to this naïve view, the key to the unique success of science at producing true knowledge is “The Scientific Method”, which, on the standard account, involves formulating hypotheses, making predictions, and then going into the laboratory to perform the crucial experiment. … In contrast, the work of many evolutionary biologists involves the reconstruction of the past. The methods they use do not conform to the standard view of “The Scientific Method”.’14

So if you can’t actually prove your theory using the scientific method, which actually uses controlled experiment, as distinct from plausible story telling, simply declare that only ‘naïve’ people think that the scientific method has anything to do with ‘science’.

Thus, of the ten characteristics of pseudoscience listed in the Skeptic’s Dictionary, evolution meets nine. Few other pseudosciences—astrology, astral projection, alien abduction, crystal power, or whatever—would meet so many.

http://creation.com/is-evolution-pseudoscience

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